Lukas Podolski announces decision to retire from international football

  • Podolski's decision has been made with immediate effect
  • He scored 48 goals for his country in 129 games over 12 years
  • The forward helped Germany to World Cup glory in 2014
  • His last tournament with his country came at Euro 2016 this summer 


Veteran forward Lukas Podolski has announced his retirement from Germany's national team.
Podolski said in an Instagram post on Monday he had informed Germany coach Joachim Low he is quitting international football with immediate effect.
Podolski called it a difficult decision to make, saying: 'Everything has its time - and my time with the DFB (German national federation) is over.' 
Lukas Podolski has announced his immediate retirement from Germany's national team
Lukas Podolski has announced his immediate retirement from Germany's national team
Podolski (right) helped Germany to a dramatic World Cup success in Brazil in 2014
Podolski (right) helped Germany to a dramatic World Cup success in Brazil in 2014
The former Arsenal forward scored 48 goals for his country in 129 games over 12 years
The former Arsenal forward scored 48 goals for his country in 129 games over 12 years
He added he wants to spend more time on other things, particularly his family.
Writing on Instagram, Podolski said: 'The national team has always been my heart and always will be. But I felt after the Euros my focus had shifted. 

PODOLSKI'S GERMANY CAREER IN NUMBERS

Games: 129
Goals: 48
Debut: June 6, 2004 vs Hungary
Honours: 2014 World Cup 

'Everything has its time and my time at the DFB is over. For me this is a very emotional farewell. I am proud of what I experienced with the DFB. 
'Nothing can replace the joy and passion from my time with the German team. 
'From being a two-year-old Polish boy who came here with only a ball under his arm to being a world champion with Germany - that's more than I could have dreamed about.
'With the DFB I celebrated great success on the pitch, but not only that I've seen different countries and cities around the world and have met great people and many friends.
'Thanks to the DFB. Thanks to the team behind the team. Thanks to my team-mates. 
'And thank you coach. Thanks Rudi Voller, thanks Jurgen Klinsmann, and especially, thanks Joachim Low.' 

Podolski announced his retirement on Monday with a post on Instagram 
Podolski announced his retirement on Monday with a post on Instagram 
Podolski (left) says he is now looking forward to spending more time with his family 
Podolski (left) says he is now looking forward to spending more time with his family 
With just short of 50 goals for his country, Podolski was a firm favourite with Germany fans
With just short of 50 goals for his country, Podolski was a firm favourite with Germany fans

The 31-year-old Galatasaray player, who was born in Poland, played 129 games for Germany over 12 years, scoring 48 goals. 
He helped his country to World Cup glory in Brazil two years ago with his final tournament coming at Euro 2016 earlier this summer. 
He follows veteran midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in quitting the national team after the European Championship. 
Podolski added: 'My biggest thanks go to you, the fans. You have always stood by me, even in the bad times. 
'I could always rely on you and this bond between us was extremely important.
'I am going to miss you the most and I hope I have been able to give a little bit back to you which you have given to me. Many thanks for everything.
Podolski will now watch his former team-mates as they seek to defend their World Cup title in Russia in 2018.
'That trophy has got to stay in Germany in 2018,' he said. 'I will be keeping my fingers crossed as a big fan of this great team. It has been an honour.'
Podolski follows  Bastian Schweinsteiger in retiring after the European Championship
Podolski follows Bastian Schweinsteiger in retiring after the European Championship


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3741310/Lukas-Podolski-announces-retirement-international-football-World-Cup-winner-calls-time-career-Germany-immediate-effect.html#ixzz4I9MxoZx6 
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